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Geographical Indications and Appellations of Origin of goods

Geographical indication has become a new subject matter protectable in Russia from 27 July 2020 along with the appellation of origin. These IP subject matters are intended to individualize goods, which characteristics are closely related to their geographical origin.

The law gives the following definitions of these indications (Clause 1 of Article 1516 of the Civil Code).
Geographical indication is a designation that identifies goods originating from the geographic location, provided its quality, reputation, or other characteristics are largely related to their geographic origin.
Appellation of origin of goods is a designation that is a modern or historical, official or unofficial, full or abbreviated name of a country, urban or rural settlement, locality or any other geographical location, which incorporates such a name or a derivative thereof and has become known as a result of its use in relation to the goods, special properties of which are exclusively determined by the environmental conditions and (or) human factors peculiar to this geographical location.

Along with the introduction of the new IP category, the following most significant novelties on this IP may be noted:

  • Enlargement of the list of persons who are entitled to to register geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods (Clause 1 of Article 1518 of the Civil Code).
    Geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods may be registered by one or more individuals or one or more legal entities as well as by an association (union) or any other body of persons;
  • Detailing of conditions for registration in Russia for geographical indications and appellations of origin that have protection outside Russia:
    • Registration of the designation identifying the goods originating from the geographical location in a foreign country, as a geographical indication is allowed if that designation is protected as a geographical indication or by any other indication in the country of origin of the goods, provided that it complies with the requirements of Article 1516 of the Civil Code. Only a person whose right to a geographical indication or any other means of individualization of goods is protected in the country of origin is entitled to be the holder of the exclusive right to such a geographical indication;
    • Registration of an appellation of origin of goods is allowed in Russia if the name of that appellation of origin of goods is registered in the country of origin;
  • Conversion of geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods.
    An appellation of origin of goods or an application for an appellation of origin of goods may be converted into a geographical indication or an application for a geographical indication, accordingly, and vice versa.

The same legal regime applies to protection of geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods, including validity period of the exclusive right to these intellectual property objects (10 years from the filing date of the application for a geographical indication / an appellation of origin of goods with its possible extension at the request of the right holder).

The law sets less stringent conditions for registration of a geographical indication than those that apply to an appellation of origin of goods. Besides, there are other differences between geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods, which analysis makes it possible to better understand the legal peculiarities of these intellectual property categories. Below are given only some of them.

 Comparison Criterion
 Geographical Indication
 Appellation of Origin of Goods
 Requirements for Designation 
 Any designation, including graphic or combined one, which makes it possible to identify goods as originating from the geographic location. 
 A verbal designation representing the name of the geographic location. 
 A designation (not necessarily known), which makes it possible to identify goods as originating from the geographic location. 
 A designation, which became known as a result of its use in relation to goods. 
 Links of characteristics of goods with the geographic location 
 Quality, reputation, and other characteristics of goods, in relation to which a geographical indication may be registered, are largely related to its geographical origin. 
 Special properties of goods, in relation to which an appellation of origin of goods may be registered, are exclusively determined by the environmental conditions and (or) human factors peculiar to this geographical location. 
 Manufacture of products 
 At least one stage of manufacture of goods, which has material effect on formation of the characteristics of goods, should be performed in that geographical location
 All stages of manufacturing of goods, which have a material effect on formation of special properties of the goods, should be performed in that geographical location
 Protection mark 
 Special sign for a geographical indication 
GU350.jpg
 Special sign for an appellation of origin of goods 
NMPT350.jpg

Another important difference is a set of documents required to file an application for a geographical indication or an application for an appellation of origin of goods with Rospatent. What are these documents and what should the manufacturers of goods having special connection to their geographical origin do to obtain exclusive right to the use of a geographical indication or an appellation of origin of goods in relation to such goods in Russia? The experts from our firm, who have large experience in legal protection of IP in Russia and abroad, will help you find answers to these or any other questions related to geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods.